Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Rookie Watch: Helu a good fit for Skins
By Matt Williamson
It took a while, but the Redskins finally figured out that Roy Helu was their best ball carrier. Helu had three straight 100-yard games before Washington played the Giants in Week 15. In that game, Helu injured a toe, knee and eye but still carried the ball 23 times for 53 yards.
Helu has yet to make it on my Rookie Watch list because the body of work for the season just isn't there, but obviously he has become the foundation of Washington's running game. Helu has the physical dimensions you look for in a lead runner with a powerful square build and a low center of gravity. He is also quite fast in a straight line and a rather accomplished receiver as far as rookie running backs go.
But Helu isn't very agile laterally and is more of a straight-line running back. That deficiency is masked somewhat in Mike Shanahan's one-cut zone blocking running game, which Helu fits well because he is decisive and quick to stick his foot in the ground and get his pads parallel with the line of scrimmage.
To me, Helu is not an ideal feature back because of this deficiency, but with all the other needs the Redskins have on offense and Helu's fit in the scheme, he is most likely a suitable enough option to carry the load going forward.
Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.